Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lord, hear our prayer!

+ for the holy souls in purgatory
+ for the suffering and hopeless
+ for those with no one to pray for them
+ for the sick, dying, and our beloved dead
+ for our troops everywhere
+ for a peaceful end to abortion, euthanasia, artificial birth control and capital punishment
+ for our priests and other clergy, especially throughout the United States
+ four our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and all of his intentions
+ for Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Corsicana
+ for the upcoming confirmation retreat and the apostolate members working on that
+ for my talk at the upcoming retreat on our call to holiness
+ for the lock-in for life and remnant cd release party
+ for the holiness of my family
+ for the intentions of all the Friars and Sisters
+ for my vocational discernment
+ for all those whom I've promised to pray

--originally posted at Requesting Thine Aid--


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Daddy's Little Girl

There is a post over at AdoroTeDevote called Daddy's Little Girl. It is beautiful! Adoro uses a great analogy that I believe will speak to everyone! I wanted to quote some of it here but I'm afraid the quote I would use will give away too much. Just go have a look!

Taking A Step Back

It's still very early on in my 'retreat after the retreat' but already I have been sensing much peace about what I have experienced so far. I have no doubt I will continue to understand things more fully and/or have new things revealed to me in the coming months. Discernment is not a quick process and for some, it takes a good long while. I know fully well that I do not know or understand all there is to know and understand about this vocation, or about my specific experiences at the convent. But I trust that in His time, He will show me. He will guide me if only I let Him.

It is always stressed when girls go home from visits that they not label themselves 'future CFR's. Some might think this is odd if a girl feels especially peaceful about the process. (There are of course cases where girls will know for sure during that visit and will begin taking steps toward entrance almost immediately, but I am speaking for those whom that scenario does not apply.) It is important to understand how big of a decision all of this is and the emotions and thrills that can arise during a visit. It is very easy to get caught up in 'the high' and not really see the big picture until later. So they are very careful to always tell those who come to them to continue to be open to all things, seeking always to follow the will of the Father.

It is easy to label yourself in a moment of excitement. It is easy to say you are this or that and be so sure of it right then. You might run off and tell all of your friends and family that you know exactly what you want and need and that's where your life is going. And then later, something comes up that doesn't fit into your little plan and you're stuck. You were so sure of your future that now you don't know what to do. You're supposed to be this or that. You ARE this or that. So what do you do with whatever just came up? -- So much conflict. This is why it's so important to remain open throughout discernment and not get carried away with your own desires.

Taking all that I have experienced and learned and been told into consideration, I have not labeled myself a future CFR. I still love the community very much and respect their charism. It gives you a whole new level of love to experience it first-hand. I would like to visit the community again, experience it again. My deepest desire is to do the will of my Father and I do believe that He has allowed for my heart to rejoice in the possibility of this community. Again, I stress that I have not yet labeled myself.

It is a very difficult thing to explain. It's hard to really articulate the idea that I could be so peaceful and sure of something while still remaining open to the possibility of.. anything else.

I have ideas about what my future holds. I know there are things that I need to do and there are other things I want to do with my time to serve our Lord. There are things I think are important that I experience and that I desire to experience. I do not wish to spend one second doing work which is not done in honor of our Lord. And what's more important, I believe my plans thus far honor that desire and that commitment. Nothing is set on a timeline but I do have general ideas about the coming years and what will be accomplished. But then I remember something which has been spoken of repeatedly in the last week...

Ultimately this boils down to me living in God's time. It is not MY time. Sure, God has given me my life and in some sense, it is my life. But God gave me my life that I might give it back to Him. And if I am not doing that, I might as well not exist. Time does not matter if it is being spent on things that do not honor and praise our Almighty Father. So, I give it all back to Him and trust that He will, in HIS time, lead me where He would have me. If that is back at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Convent, Praise Him! That would be beautiful. If it does not, praise Him still! Because joy is found in serving the Lord - in loving Him in what He has me do: no matter the location, no matter the work.

I've always said that.

You Belong in Winter

Quiet, calm, and totally at peace...

You're happy to be at home, wrapped in a blanket, completely snowed in

Whether you're lighting a fire or having a snowball fight, you always feel best in the winter.

via Happy Catholic. Winter definitely is (and always has been) my favorite season. Fall comes in second with Spring and Summer tying for third. On this quiz, I think it was my answer to the coziest weather question that tipped the scale. It was the one I struggled with the most but I think I made a good choice!

Monday, November 27, 2006


"It is the mark of a mean, vulgar and ignoble spirit to dwell on the thought of food before meal times or worse to dwell on it afterwards, to discuss it and wallow in the remembered pleasures of every mouthful. Those whose minds dwell before dinner on the spit, and after on the dishes, are fit only to be scullions. "
-St Francis de Sales

It's a quote that has come to mind several times in the past few days. Many people, when I show them this quote, are very taken aback. They don't like it. But after reading a couple of things here and there (and listening to the book discussion tonight), it strikes me as an important message, especially in today's world. It is quotes like this that brought me to read more of Saint Francis de Sales and I'm so glad I did. He is SO wise.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Details, Details

There is so much to think and pray about in coming home from New York. I will update (probably) on Tuesday, giving some details about my trip. I wanted to wait and share it with friends here at home before publishing it for all to read. It makes it a little more personal, if you know what I mean. So... I will see the last group of people tomorrow that I want to share it with before that post. In the meantime, check out the video and the Christmas Grinch campaign below.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Home Again

I'm home again - safe and sound. I'll post a little about the trip in the coming weeks (most likely, God willing). Right now I need time to think and pray about all that I experienced.

I pray each of you had a most blessed Thanksgiving. God bless y'all!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Prayer of St. Clare

Place your mind before the mirror of eternity!
Place your soul in the brilliance of glory!
Place your heart in the figure of divine substance!
And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead
Itself through contemplation.

Most high,
glorious God,
enlighten the darkness
of my heart, and give me, Lord
a correct faith,
a certain hope,
a perfect charity,
sense and knowledge,
so that I may carry out
Your holy and true command.

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Today's Nun Has A Veil -- And A Blog

For the iPod generation, it doesn't get more radical than wearing a veil. The hijab worn by traditional Muslim women might have people talking, but it's the wimple that really turns heads. And in the U.S. today, the nuns most likely to wear that headdress are the ones young enough to have a playlist.

Over the past five years, Roman Catholic communities around the country have experienced a curious phenomenon: more women, most in their 20s and 30s, are trying on that veil. Convents in Nashville, Tenn.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and New York City all admitted at least 15 entrants over the past year and fielded hundreds of inquiries. One convent is hurriedly raising funds for a new building to house the inflow, and at another a rush of new blood has lowered the median age of its 225 sisters to 36. Catholic centers at universities, including Illinois and Texas A&M, report growing numbers of women entering discernment, or the official period of considering a vocation. Career women seeking more meaning in their lives and empty-nest moms are also finding their way to convent doors.

This is a welcome turnabout for the church. As opportunities opened for women in the 1960s and '70s, fewer of them viewed the asceticism and confinements of religious life as a tempting career choice. Since 1965, the number of Catholic nuns in the U.S. has declined from 179,954 to just 67,773, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. The average age of nuns today is 69. But over the past decade or so, expressing their religious beliefs openly has become hip for many young people, a trend intensified among Catholic women by the charismatic appeal of Pope John Paul II's youth rallies and his interpretation of modern feminism as a way for women to express Christian values.

As this so-called JP2 generation has come of age, religious orders have begun to reach out again to young people--and to do so in the language that young people speak. Convents conduct e-mail correspondence with interested women, blogs written by sisters give a peek into the habited life and websites offer online personality questionnaires to test vocations. One site, frames the choice much like a dating service, with Christ as the ultimate match. "For a long time, we neglected to invite people to see what we are about," says Sister Doris Gottemoeller of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of America, a national order. "I think we're more ready to do that now."

And although the extreme conservatism of a nun's life may seem wholly countercultural for young American women today, that is exactly what attracts many of them, say experts and the women themselves. "Religious life itself is a radical choice," says Brother Paul Vednarczyk, executive director of the National Religious Vocation Conference in Chicago. "In an age where our primary secular values are sex, power and money, for someone to choose chastity, obedience and poverty is a radical statement."

Read the rest here!

The radical lifestyle is certainly what attracted me. It is a radical living of the Gospel. And it's absolutely beautiful! More after my trip..


Shh.. I know! I know!

Okay, after this I WILL get back to packing... but that means I'm left alone with my thoughts and right now I'm just a tad overwhelmed. I'm back and forth (though you wouldn't know it if you could hear my thoughts... unless of course you were me) between being ready to go and just wanting to relax over hot chocolate with a good friend. Despite my leisurely day thus far, there is a sense of urgency in my step... Anyway - this is me getting nervous about solo-traveling. Ignore my babbling. How about a quiz? (From SFO Mom)

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The South
The Inland North
The Northeast
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Tomorrow is the big day. Please continue to pray for me. Reality is hitting me and I'm just waiting for a freak out moment. (And I'm hoping it comes when there are people around who aren't stewards!)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Countdown to New York

I have begun packing for my trip and I imagine the next two days will be busy. I did not plan on posting here again before I left out but I found this video over at ...breath and heartbeat and had to share. It's absolutely beautiful. I wanted to share it with you all as a kind of final word before I left. It is a good final word, if I do say so myself.

First vows of Sr Jacinta and Sr Miriam, CFR

Two days and counting.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Christmas Watch 2006

Join the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and the Catholic League as they spotlight "Grinches," that is, retailers, towns, and other establishments who refuse to acknowledge Christmas as part of the "holiday season".

This Christmas, the Catholic League is teaming up with Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. and the other Franciscan Friars of the Renewal to put the spotlight on these folks.

The names of the nominees are posted here and on Father Benedict's website, Each Friday, they will select the worst offender and dub it the Supreme Grinch of the Week.

Be sure to check it out... and keep watch for the Grinches in your neighborhood!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Countdown to New York

Needless to say: I'm busy!

I stayed up way too late last night trying to finish sewing a skirt for my trip and missed my solo at Mass this morning! *sigh* I'm not so disappointed that I didn't get to sing as I am disappointed that I let my director and other choir members down. When I committed to that, they expected me to be there. And I wasn't. It is totally my fault. I should have made sure my alarm wasn't set on a phone that would die or not ring loud enough to wake me. But alas, I do not have time to fret. I pray they forgive me. (And I'm sure they will -- they're great like that.)

I sewed my first real piece of clothing yesterday. As I began the project I realized that a phrase commonly used for men, was applicable to me.

Jack of all trades, master of none.

The project was... interesting. In making my floor length skirt out of semi-stretchy, tan material, I had four pins, a highlighter, three pairs of defective scissors and one sewing machine with white thread. Yes... it was interesting. What was labeled an hour project turned into about six or seven with breaks for confession and babysitting. And the end result? A skirt that is about five or six inches too large in the waist. Paranoia: Don't let it get YOU.


Anyway, this will probably be it for me for posting before my trip unless I have free time at work.

4 days and counting...

+ St. Maria Goretti, pure and humble, pray for us! Sts. Francis and Clare, generous and kind, pray for us! St. Thomas Aquinas, the dumb ox, pray for us! All you saints and angels, pray for us!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Blog Title Change?

As I was listening to my new choir director talk tonight, I realized that my blog is probably inappropriately titled. You see, he was explaining the four main parts of the Liturgy of the Eucharist between (roughly) the offetory hymn and the closing prayer. I was just sitting there thinking to myself: First you don't know how to address a bishop and now you're being schooled in the Mass, which is a huge deal to you. Wow, you're really ignorant!

So I think a title change is in order. Something along the lines of 'Ignorant Catholic: Learning Something New Every Day' - or something similar. In fact, I may devote a whole other blog to the things I learn. There's a guaranteed post every week as each time I go to choir rehearsal I learn something new about my faith.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Countdown to New York

8 days and counting...

The poor are the center of the Church. But who are the poor? At first we might think of people who are not like us: people who live in slums, people who go to soup kitchens, people who sleep on the streets, people in prisons, mental hospitals, and nursing homes. But the poor can be very close. They can be in our own families, churches or workplaces. Even closer, the poor can be ourselves, who feel unloved, rejected, ignored, or abused.

It is precisely when we see and experience poverty - whether far away, close by, or in our own hearts - that we need to become the Church; that is hold hands as brothers and sisters, confess our own brokenness and need, forgive one another, heal one another's wounds, and gather around the table of Jesus for the breaking of the bread. Thus, as the poor we recognise Jesus, who became poor for us.

~~Henri Nouwen Society
lifted from penni (m2)


Elections Aide Salvation

Yep. It's true. The 'defeats' last night have just given our prayer lives a kick in the butt -- and the Good Lord knows we can all use it! So don't despair. Recognize the great thing the elections have done for us - and get busy fixing the problems we still have left.

Promote the culture of life. The gates of hell shall not prevail.

Proper Etiquette in Addressing Church Leaders

Recently I asked Matt Hardesty, a seminarian with St. Mary's, about proper etiquette in greeting a bishop:
Do you think you might have a chance to explain exactly what the procedure is when you meet a bishop? I've only ever had the opportunity to meet two bishops and I'm afraid that both times, I did not give a proper greeting.

This ignorant Catholic would be most appreciative.
Kindly, he obliged.
Hey Laura,

Good question. Both an archbishop and a bishop would be greeted as "Your Excellency" or "Your Grace" (very British). For example, one would greet Archbishop Kelly as "Your Excellency." In writing to him, for instance, about how great of a seminarian I am(only kidding), you would address the letter, "The Most Reverend Thomas C. Kelly, Archbishop of Louisville," with the salutation, "Your Excellency."

In terms of other niceties...It's an acceptable act of piety to genuflect before a bishop but I personally wouldn't unless I suspected he wouldn't mind (like Chaput or somebody). Then when he offers his hand to raise you up, reverently turn it, kiss his ring, and stand. If he'd rather you not do either, he'll probably let you but then politely tell you it's not necessary. If you don't genuflect, you could kiss his ring if he offers it. I wouldn't grab his hand and kiss it even if he offered it in a handshake (which is different than offering it for a kiss). got it? hehe

I was never sure if I was with the majority or minority in my ignorance but regardless, I think everyone should know how to address our Church leaders without scrambling for some scrap paper with instructions or sifting through sites trying to figure out who has it right.

So.. here it is. This is how you're supposed to greet our 'higher-ups':

Pope: Your Holiness, Most Holy Father, Holy Father
Cardinal: Your Eminence, Your Lordship
Archbishop: Your Excellency, Your Grace
Bishop: Your Excellency, Your Grace
Monsignor: Monsignor (hey, that one's easy!)
Priest: Father

(Source) I hope this has been somewhat helpful/informative. Now we can all be slightly less ignorant Catholics!

An old debate: Homeschool vs. Public School

In a recent topic on phatmass, one poster had this to say: seems to me you have the typical view of the homeschooler, the stereotype, which I get alot here at school. "oh you were homeschooled, you didn't have a life. You didn't learn from real teachers, how could you learn? You didn't interact with other kids. You are socially stunted. You didn't have opportunity." Its all carp. I am happy that I was not sent to public school. Most of the peeps i know that did, ended up hating learning, and I believe the best thing homeschooling did for me is teach me to value it above everything else. On top of that, I got self-discipline, self-reliance, and a top notch education. I am currently pursuing a degree in Chemical engineering and hopefully go for a ph.d. (My advisor says its do-able anywhere between 8-10 years of total college) Public schools might give loads of opportunity, but one persons success (yours ) doesn't make the system a success
And since I have an opinion on most things, I too had something to say...
And using your line of thinking (and speech): Homeschooling might give loads of opportunity, but one person's success (yours) doesn't make the system a success. I, like Balthazor, have seen plenty of kids go through homeschooling and come out a total flop. Socially and academically they are not where they are supposed to be. And before you jump and say that you are fine and that not all homeschoolers are that way, let me assure you that I understand. Not all kids that come through public school are where they are supposed to be academically and socially. But you have to apply the same principles and efforts both places.

Before I get much further, I pretty much recognize that most people will assume that their way of doing things is better than the person who does it differently. I find myself in the middle. I believe in both systems but only because I recognize the following:

In both systems the child must work for an education. It is not handed to them. Certain standards must be met in order to advance through the system. While some would claim that homeschooling gives a 'better' education, there are still minimum standards for getting through the curriculum. (This is where I would use the example of friends who have homeschooled and are not at all advanced academically and possibly not at all where they should be academically.) It honestly doesn't matter whether you are at home or at a school (private or public) when it comes to self-reliance and self-discipline. If you want the best education out there, you must learn to be self-reliant and self-disciplined. You have to make sure you complete your work on time to the best of your ability, utilizing all possible resources. No one takes your hand and helps you through it. You must be responsible for completing the work and, if you desire, doing more than is expected to make sure that you're learning - and learning as much as you can. (By the way, I have noticed that a lot of homeschooled kids think that they got 'top notch' education but if you were to compare their syllabus to a syllabus of some schools, they would be blown out of the water. I'm not saying that I don't think homeschooling can be top notch, just that you must not come into this assuming that because you succeeded to a fuller degree than someone from public school that you automatically 'win'. This goes back to the bolded portion at the top.) We, the children who were not homeschooled, did not automatically lose when our parents decided (for whatever reason) that we would go to private/public school, just as you, those who were homeschooled, did not automatically win when your parents decided to teach you themselves. It is absolutely necessary that the parents be involved in the younger years in helping their children to succeed and in helping to give them the tools necessary to succeed on their own. Teaching good study habits early on will make all the difference in later years. As the child gets older, it is still important to have parental involvement but at some point, it becomes the primary responsibility of the child to make use of what he has and to succeed with that to the fullest extent.

Let's take an example. You give a homeschooled child the best curriculum in the world. He has an articulate teacher with the patience of Mary. But he does not have the drive. He does not make use of all of the wonderfully advanced tools he has. His parent/teacher may push him to try and try and try, but if that child does not wish to succeed, he will not. On the other hand, you have a child in public school. It's mediocre, comparably. This child wishes to have the best education he can get. He listens and takes notes in class and does all of his work, turning it in on time. He utilizes the resources around him: the library, free hours with his teachers, the counselors, etc. He does well. Why? Because he does have the drive; he does wish to succeed.

Although it may seem like homeschooling provides a child with more opportunities than public school, that is not always the case. Often times, public schools offer children opportunities that would not be readily available to homeschoolers or that homeschooling families may not be able to afford. (Public school families wouldn't be able to afford it on their own either, but because they are in the system, they are able to make use of these resources.)

In the end, I believe that both ways of schooling have great opportunities for success, but it is all relevant. If a child wishes to succeed, he will. If he does not, he will not.

And I must say that I give a lot of credit to those who can afford to stay home with their children. I applaud those who make the financial sacrifices in order to teach their children. I commend their efforts and respect them for their reasonings. Some of the coolest parents I know stay home with their little saints!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

'He's at it again.'

Rapping Franciscan Priest Releases New CD, Says Genre Speaks to Young People

He's at it again. Father Stan Fortuna, the Franciscan Friar of the Renewal who is known as the "rapping priest," has released his latest CD in the genre. Eighteen songs, ranging from old-school rap to world beats, make up the new release, which completes the series of rap albums he has released over the past few years. "Sacro Song 3: The Completion of the Trilogy" deals with a range of topics, from the negative effects visited on fatherless children in "Daddy Wound," and the grip of the culture of death in "Hangin' in There," to a message of peace in "Peace Shout Out," and a tribute to his beloved role model, the late Pope John Paul II, in "I'm Loving You," "The Great One" and "KW." Throughout the album, the doctrines of the Catholic Church are a consistent thread. "I continue to do rap music because it's a genre that makes the message intelligible to many young people," Father Stan said in an interview with The Catholic Standard & Times, Philadelphia's archdiocesan newspaper.

from the IRL News Brief

Requesting Thine Aid - A reminder!

Just a little reminder about my other blog: Requesting Thine Aid - a prayer journal of sorts. There have been a few new entries since I last reminded everyone about it. Please take a look and pray for those mentioned. If you have any prayer requests, feel free to email me or to comment. Thank you in advance for any prayers you may offer. May the Lord bless you in your generosity.


Catholic Carnival No. 92

It is with great pleasure that I bring to you the 92nd Catholic Carnival. Welcome! I do hope you enjoy what you find and will continue to visit, even if I'm not hosting a supremely popular 'blog Carnival. Below are 21 posts from 21 blogs and 20 people spanning a great number of topics, all sharing something in common: great writing and a love of the faith!

Kicking off this week will be John Gebaw at A Grain of Wheat with his thoughts on the solemnities of All Saints and All Souls in a post titled 'Poor Souls'. I wish I could say more without giving away his thoughts. Be assured it's a good one - short and sweet. Nice work, John!

Up next is - Musings of Domenicio Bettinelli with 'Studies show “safe environment” programs don’t work'. As the title suggests, a series of studies researched by a task force of the Catholic Medical Association concludes that many of the "safe environment" programs implemented by dioceses in the wake of the Scandal actually do more harm than good. In addition to the findings of the Assocication, Dom offers his own commentary, practical and wise. Thanks for the submission, Mr. Bettinelli!

One stop at just another day of Catholic pondering and you're a goner - a reader for life. Sarah is always challenging us in spiritual matters and she does no less with her submission titled 'Listening to God'. Sharing a recent revelation and a personal goal, Sarah opens with this: "In the midst of all the things I need to do, I sometimes lose sight of what I'm supposed to be doing. It's all too easy for me to get caught up in what needs done, without considering my true priorities. Sometimes, in the banging and clanging of my running around, I forget to stand still and I completely miss out on that still, small voice." Wonderful, as always, Sarah!

Looking for a simple way to evangelize? Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii offers a solution: use the USPS's Madonna and Child Christmas stamp throughout the year. An idea deveoloped by the late Father Gerard J. Leicht, it is called The Madonna and Child Postal Stamp Project. Doesn't get much easier than that. Thanks for the idea, Esther!

Kevin Miller at the HMS (Heart Mind and Strength) blog talks to us about the Sunday (11/05/06) Mass readings, focusing on the importance and meaning of love of God. Appropriately titled 'The Greatest Commandment', Kevin references passages from the Gospels of Matthew and John, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church, making clear what is necessary to remember in these readings and helping us come to a fuller understanding of the message of Jesus in the Gospel. Thank you for your contribution, Kevin!

Sr. Edith Bogue, OSB, of Monastic Musings talks to us this week about the restoration of the Baltimore Basilica, originally designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol. In her submission, Sister Edith spoke of her post (Restoration - The Batlimore Basilica) saying this: "Even though I can't be there, the images of the restored Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption are truly inspiring. The more I explored the story, the more inspired I became." From what I can tell this was a truly remarkable restoration that has left a beautiful worship space for generations to come. A great post, Sr. Edith!

The apologetically inclined Nicholas Hardesty at phatcatholic apologetics brings us Biblical Fundamentalism and the Catholic Biblical Hermeneutic. If that's not a mouthfull I'm not sure what is. In this paper, Nick, a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, examines the Church's critique of the Fundamentalist's approach to the Bible, and how this approach compares to the Catholic understanding and method of interpretation. Though sometimes a bit long, his papers and other writings are always worth the read. Check him out. As always, excellent work, Nick!

We have two posts from Christine this week! Watch out, y'all - she's on a roll! The first is over at Ramblings of a GOP Soccer Mom. Titled 'Prayer for Election Day', Christine offers a prayer from Father Frank Pavone. With her and many others I'm sure, I'll be fasting and praying this prayer today. I would encourage each of you to do the same. On a similar note but at a different blog is the second post, "Building a Culture of Life in the Voting Booth”. Here, at Domestic Vocation, Christine not only asks for prayers and fasting for the election but also provides us links to information on various initiatives on ballots across the country. These initiatives will either help the Culture of Life or the Culture of Death. As she mentions in her submission, which one that will be depends on how well we as Catholics do in spreading the message. "Okay, so other people can help spread it, too, but hey, we have a mandate!" Couldn't have said it better myself, Christine! Thank you for both of your submissions!

Jay over at Deo Omnis Gloria is also thinking politics this week. Pro-life politics. 'Voting Priorities 2006' is a plea for all Christians to vote pro-life in the election today.

Ever watching out for his brothers and sisters in Christ, moneybags at A Catholic Life offers 'Bad Websites: Catholics should avoid these'. In this post, moneybags presents us with a list of websites that claim to be 'Catholic' but that are "generally opposed to the truth of the Faith". Thanks for the heads up, moneybags!

Have you tried using the CatholicBlogs search engine lately? You may have noticed that you can now search for three-letter words! Thanks to HerbEly at, has made a useful upgrade. In his post 'Search Engine Upgrade Enables a Comparison Catholic Blogosphere Interest in War, Sex, and Work', HerbEly takes us into his own searches and with his findings concludes... well, I won't give it away. Check it out for yourself! Thanks to you, HerbEly, for your contribution to our searches!

Admittedly one of my favorite submissions this week is Shaken and Stirred from Mikala at The Magdelene Diaries. Reflecting back on her experience during a quake, Mikala provides a great thought for contemplation. As my words here will do little justice to her post, I might as well just end by saying that she did a fabulous job in articulating her thoughts and is a great addition to this week's carnival. Just lovely, Mikala!

Hope. Her favorite word, her pen name, and as we find at the end of her post, something she gains in a single testimony. In this entry, 'Life on the Cerebral Plain' (found at A Song Not Scored For Breathing), Hope talks to us about Christ's question, "Who do you say that I am?" - a question which challenges her to live life from somewhere deeper than the cerebral plain. A touching post, Hope! Thank you!

It's not all moonlight and magnolia's with the Kitchen Madonna as she and her son visit Gettysburg. Find out how Catholicism transformed her personal burden of Southern history. (Wow! She gave me everything in two sentences! Thanks, KM!)

Jay at Living Catholicism brings us 'A Reflection from St. Catherine of Sienna' - a reflection on darkness and it's relation to perfection. This one will be good for Lent so be sure to tuck it someplace safe! Thanks to Jay for this.

Are you willing to lay it all down for Jesus Christ...are you willing to trust enough in God's grace and rely on His strength in order to answer His call? AdoroTeDevote (from AdoroTeDevote) reminds us that "You have to suffer for what you love". A long post, to be sure, but also very good. An easy read and still a challenging one. Check it out. Excellent post, AdoroTeDevote!

Ruth from Wheelie Catholic talks to us this week about napping. Okay not napping - resting... in the spiritual sense. Here's what she has to say: "Just as the concept of needing physical rest eludes some of us, it has taken me a long time to learn that when I seek and do God's will, I find spiritual rest through God's grace." Read all about it in her post 'Spiritual Rest'. Nice post, Ruth. Thanks for your submission!

'Penitens' (A Penitent Blogger) hits on a subject which I myself am very passionate about. The post 'Don't just write a check' speaks to us all about meaning behind action and the call that Jesus gives to each of us. Read and be challenged. Thanks, Penitens!

Elena of My Domestic Church (not mine, hers! hah!) writes: "A week or so ago, I wrote about a popular Catholic priest, Father King, in our area who was leaving the priesthood and possibly pursuing marriage. This evening I received a copy of a sermon delivered by another local priest, Father Burba, on the priesthood. He also counters some of the points made by Father King in his resignation speech. This is just an excellent read. If you have been looking for compelling argumentation for the celibant priesthood - this is it!" Read it in her post titled 'A case for the celibate priesthood'. Thanks for being a part of the Carnival, Elena!

Wrapping up our carnival this week is an entry from Catholic Fire. The entry, KLINE ON O'REILLY FACTOR: JUST IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS, HERE ARE THE VIDEOS - POWERFUL STUFF! (what a title!), links to video recordings of a powerful segment on The O'Reilly Factor dealing with the investigation into late-term abortionist George R. Tiller. Tiller is being investigated by Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline for the concealment of child rape and for illegal late-term abortions. Phill Kline runs against pro-death "Catholic" Paul Morrison for Attorney General, whose campaign is financed by Tiller. The entry also includes many links to posts on the development of this case. A highly informative post. Thanks, Catholic Fire!

As this carnival comes to an end, I invite you to reflect on these words from the servant of God, late Pope John Paul the Great in his message for World Communications Day, 2002:
"The internet causes billions of images to appear on millions of computer monitors around the planet. From this galaxy of sight and sound will the face of Christ emerge and the voice of Christ be heard?"
May God's will be done and His name always glorified in and through our lives. Happy blogging, y'all!


I call you friend

Intended for Novemeber 2, 2006 but finished November 7, 2006.
Yesterday at the baptism of Maximilian, a question I had been pondering lately was answered quite clearly. I asked the question in a poll at phatmass, knowing quite well what my own answer was. The question was this:

Is it or is it not our job (to a point) to promote the sanctity of every human being, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ?

An overwhelming majority said it was. And I agree with them. So does Father Juniper. It is ABSOLUTELY our job to promote the sanctity of our loved ones... and even those whom we do not know! In the rite of baptism, the faithful gathered there promise to guide and raise the child in the faith, helping them to become a saint. It is asked specifically of the Godparents. They respond, "We are." Father proceeded to explain our involvement in that statement like this:

If mom and dad are busy and little Maximilian starts to run off somewhere he shouldn't, we would step in and snatch him up. When he goes to touch something hot, we don't wait for someone else to tell him 'no'. We all help the parents to the best of our ability to raise the child and to protect him. In faith, we provide a good example. We are faithful in what we do and what we say, showing the little ones how to live out and live with the love of Christ.

At what point though do we discontinue our faithful example? Well, I don't believe we ever do. We, as a faith community as well as individuals, are responsible for keeping each other in check, so to speak. It is our obligation as followers of Christ to preach the Gospel and lead by example so that every heart may be converted by the love of Christ. If we see a friend living a life of sin and we fail to say something, we too are sinning. If we do not provide correction, if we condone the action, or aide the person in the act in some way, we too are sinning. But regardless of the effect it has on us, should we not be concerned for the state of another's soul?

When we marry, it is our priority to help our spouse to heaven. When we have children, a priority then is to raise our children to be saints. But simply because we do not share a marriage bed or give life to the person whom is sinning does not mean that we are freed of the obligation to provide counsel and correction. Christ calls each of us to bring the world to Him and to His sacred heart.

Each of us are called to love like Christ and in loving like Christ we care for the person's soul always. Period. End of story.

Countdown to New York

9 days and counting...

I finally went shopping for the little things I still needed. I'm sure I forgot many things as I was extremely tired. (Yes, I made the horrible decision to sleep for a few hours, shop, and go back to sleep!)

I had this horrible dream today that I had to go do something and was running really late for the airport so I didn't have time to stop back by home to grab the rest of my clothes. I don't know why I was doing something so close to my flight but I was really scared and frustrated that I didn't have the clothes that were in my washer and dryer...

Before my dream I had decided to be packed no later than Monday evening. Now, I think I'll be packed Saturday morning. Hah!


Monday, November 06, 2006

Countdown to New York

10 days and counting...

Today, I have a rough sketch of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is the first page of a new journal I picked up for my sketches. I have a bad habit of sketching on loose sheets of paper and tossing them or losing them. While I don't care to have every sketch I've ever done, it would be nice to save the ones I like... and with my current system of doing things (or lack thereof) I never get to. It always gets lost. So without further ado..


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Countdown to New York

11 days and counting...

The Community of Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal was Established in 1988 under the auspices of John Cardinal O’Connor of New York, with Fr. Andrew Apostoli CFR as Founding Father. The aim of the Community is to live the Gospel values in simplicity according to the ideals of St. Francis as handed on by the Capuchin tradition. The spiritual values uniting the sisters are personal and communal commitment to Jesus Christ through contemplative and liturgical prayer (daily Mass and Divine Office), daily Eucharistic adoration, Fridays as a special day of prayer, a time set apart for solitude each month, devotion to our Lady, imitation of St. Francis and St. Clare, love for the Church and loyalty to the Holy Father. The sisters’ apostolic mission is work with the poor and homeless and evangelization. The sisters work with a parallel community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in many works of their apostolate. The age limit for entrance is 35 years old; no college degree is necessary. “Consecrated persons will be missionaries above all by continually deepening their awareness of having been called and chosen by God, to whom they must therefore direct and offer everything that they are and have, freeing them-selves from the obstacles which could hinder the totality of their response” - Vita Consecrata, . 25.


Royal Family Member to Wed at Vatican

In a first since the Reformation, Lord Nicholas Windsor, son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent of Wimbledon tennis fame, will this Saturday marry a British born Croatian noble, Donna Paolo Doimi de Frankopan, at a church behind St Peter's, Rome.

Britain's Independent Catholic News reports that Lord Windsor, whose godparents are The Prince of Wales and the late Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Coggan, will become the first ever member of the Royal Family to marry at the Vatican.

He will also be the first ever member of the Royal Family to marry openly and legally within the rites of the Catholic faith since the Reformation. A recent meeting of the Privy Council confirmed the Queen's approval of the wedding as required by British law.

The historic moment in relations between the Catholic Church and the British Monarchy will take place at the Church of Santo Stefano degli Abissini in the papal gardens behind St Peter's Basilica.

Bishop Alan Hopes, an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Westminster, will conduct the ceremony.

Lord Windsor converted to Catholicism in 2001 and by doing so automatically lost his rights of succession to the throne because of the notorious 1701 Act of Settlement that bars Catholics from becoming monarch.

The little known and publicity shy Lord Nicholas has since his conversion been very active in Church affairs, Independent Catholic News says. He privately joined tens of thousands who queued for hours to file past the body at the lying in state of Pope John Paul II in April 2005.

He and his Cambridge educated wife, Paola, attend Mass regularly at Westminster Cathedral and Brompton Oratory.

In 1994, his mother, the Duchess of Kent, became the most senior member of the Royal Family to convert to Catholicism. Lord Nicholas's uncle's wife, Princess Michael of Kent, and his sister in law, the Countess of St Andrews, whilst Catholic from birth, both conducted civil marriages.

His father, The Duke of Kent, who is the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Freemasons of England, is also expected to attend the Vatican ceremony.

The Duke and Duchess of Kent are best known in Australia for their role in presenting the trophies at the Wimbledon tennis tournament every year.

Spokesman for the couple, Mr Anthony Bailey said: "The wedding will be a small and strictly private family affair. It is expected that only immediate family members will attend.

Lord Nicholas's godfather, The Prince of Wales, will not be attending as His Royal Highness will be returning from an Official Visit to Pakistan at the time which was arranged many months ago.

Lord Nicholas and his bride will however be organising a private party to celebrate their marriage in London sometime in the New Year for other members of the Royal Family and close friends who will be unable to travel or have other commitments at this time."

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Countdown to my first visit...

11 days and counting...

Julie D at Happy Catholic seems to be experiencing much the same things as I lately. She has posts that are meaningful and that could take some time to write but simply does not have the time to sit and really do them justice. I'm feeling the same way. When I first started blogging, I was unemployed and was not involved in about three of the ministries I am involved in now. I have a post saved as a draft titled, "I call you friends" and another one or two that I've already promised. One day I will get to them. Perhaps while I'm away on vacation or something... haha.

For now I will give you something brief about Capuchins from Cappie, a Capuchin registered on
The Capuchins began as a reform movement within the Franciscan Order. They wanted to recover the purity and simplicity of the original vision of St. Francis. Capuchin spirituality is challenging. It understands in a special way that the Church is always reforming herself and always in need of reform — that’s the meaning of ecclesia semper reformans, semper reformanda. But every kind of real reform always begins with the individual believer.
Perhaps I will have a little something here for each day of the countdown. We'll see.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Countdown to New York

12 days and counting...


Thursday, November 02, 2006

My memory gets me in trouble sometimes...

I just realized that I'm hosting the next Catholic Carnival! Yikes! I completely forgot until just now when I checked my blog email. Whoops. I'm glad I got bored and checked it! Well, I'm afraid I have nothing to show on my blog when all the visitors pour in. I suppose it won't be as great a publicizer as I thought! Or I just really have to get crackin!

Shush! Don't distract me - I'm thinking of something to post!

Last minute planning

Sorry for the lack of posting, especially on those posts I've promised. Work is going to be absolutely dreadful until December which means little to no time for fun stuff. When I'm home I don't feel like doing anything except being with my family.

I attended the baptism of Maximilian Mary Karol yesterday evening following an All Saints Day Mass. It was celebrated by Father Juniper, CFR, and it was absolutely beautiful. He reminded us that each of us that was standing there had a hand in raising little Maximilian, as well as his brother, Sebastian. We, as a community of faithful Catholics, take responsibility for raising all of our children in the faith to the very best of our ability. We promise to help raise these children to be saints.

In other news, it looks like my job might work out after all. I'm waiting to hear on one job and putting off another. We'll see what happens. Please continue to pray for me in that regard!

I am thirteen days away from my trip to visit the Sisters! I am very excited! God has been opening doors for me left and right and I am so thankful.

Anyway, off to take my sister to dance. May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quiz... because I'm that lame.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

You will perish of fits. Repeat this to yourself: "Things can work out even if I don't get my way. Things can work out even...."
Take this quiz!

Thanks to Julie D. at Happy Catholic!